#AutumnWarmers with Waitrose – Recipe: Welsh lamb cawl

A large pot of stew simmering on the stove

Welsh lamb cawl simmering on the stove

With the weather getting colder and the nights drawing in, I love nothing more than to tuck into a comforting, hot dinner in the evening, like sausages and mash or chilli con carne. 

At the beginning of this month Waitrose launched an Autumn campaign, #AutumnWarmers, celebrating comforting seasonal dishes from throughout the UK.  

Throughout October, the supermarket is hosting a number of competitions around some of the season’s favourites; the Sunday Roast, Comfort Food, Autumn Baking and Halloween. What’s more, they we will be rewarding their social communities with prizes for sharing their #AutumnWarmers. 

To kick off the campaign, Waitrose invited me to create a recipe for a warming, Autumnal dish that has a regional twist, celebrating the produce and traditions from my home country of Wales. 

I chose to make a hearty lamb cawl. Similar to a stew, this one-pot meal is the most traditional Welsh food that I can think of and it’s so easy to make – just follow my recipe, as follows:

A bowl of stew with bread, butter and cheese

Welsh lamb cawl served with Caerphilly cheese, crusty white bread and salted butter

Traditional Welsh lamb cawl

Lamb cawl is commonly regarded as the national dish of Wales and makes for the perfect comfort dish for a chilly Autumn evening. There are many different recipes and methods used to make this popular one-pot dish. Traditionally, the ingredients were determined by what was available at the time, with goat and bacon often being used in place of lamb because it was cheaper. I added pumpkin to this recipe for an Autumnal twist, but you can use any root vegetables you like. Some people like to serve the clear broth first and the meat and vegetables afterwards, but I like to serve my cawl as a single dish, paired with crusty white bread and Welsh Caerphilly cheese.

Course Main Course
Cuisine British, Welsh
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 25 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings 4


For the cawl

  • 500 g lamb neck fillet you can also use shoulder or leg, but you may need to adjust the cooking times
  • 2 large carrots peeled and sliced
  • ½ swede peeled and chopped
  • ½ culinary pumpkin peeled and chopped
  • 2 onions peeled and sliced
  • 3 leeks washed and cut into chunks
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme rosemary and parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 500 g potatoes

To serve

  • Crusty White bread
  • Salted butter
  • Welsh Caerphilly cheese


  1. Cut the meat into chunks and place it in a large, deep saucepan with plenty of water (you’ll need to keep this topped up throughout cooking). Bring to the boil gradually, then use a spoon to remove the scum from the surface.
  2. Add the carrot, onions, swede and pumpkin. Return to the boil, season with salt and pepper and add the fresh rosemary, thyme and the bay leaf (bundled together with string). Simmer over a gentle heat for around 1 hour and 45 minutes, until the meat is tender.
  3. Add the potatoes and simmer for a further 25 minutes, then taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if desired.
  4. Add the leeks and simmer for a further 5-10 minutes, stirring now and then.
  5. The cawl is now ready to eat. Remove the bay leaf, rosemary and thyme, garnish with freshly chopped parsley and serve with warm, crusty bread, salted butter and Caerphilly cheese.

Recipe Notes

Experiment by using different kinds of root vegetables - parsnips and turnips could work quite well!

If possible, prepare the cawl the day before you intend to eat it; this will allow for the flavour to develop and the fat will rise to the surface, so you can remove it easily using a spoon.

Include the green part of the leek to add flavour and colour to your cawl.

What are your favourite Autumnal dishes? Leave a comment in the box below 🙂

This post is a collaboration between The Rare Welsh Bit and Waitrose supermarket.


  1. October 5, 2015 / 4:50 pm

    Oh yum! That looks delicious! Perfect for this time of year! I just wished the rest of my family liked lamb. My fella and girls won’t eat it. 🙁

    • October 5, 2015 / 7:32 pm

      Oh no, really?! Lamb is one of my fave meats!

  2. October 5, 2015 / 6:53 pm

    Mmmm yummy, I love it when the stews and soups start to make their appearances. They can be made so tasty and your recipe sounds scrumptious! x

    • October 5, 2015 / 7:31 pm

      Thank you, I love Autumnal food too – so comforting and warming x

  3. October 5, 2015 / 7:27 pm

    This looks really nice. I’ve never heard of this dish before. I like the fact you added pumpkin for a seasonal twist.

    • October 5, 2015 / 7:31 pm

      The pumpkin made for a lovely change.. I’d definitely make it again 🙂

  4. October 5, 2015 / 8:52 pm

    This reminds me of my grandma ( rest her soul) she used to cook me heartwarming soups before I became vegetarian with meat, beans and pasta and it was delicious so this recipe has brought back nostalgia for me!

  5. October 6, 2015 / 8:49 pm

    MMM. Looks like a perfect Autumn meal that I must try x

  6. October 6, 2015 / 11:05 pm

    Now this sounds like the perfect autumn snack! Delicious. x

  7. October 7, 2015 / 12:34 am

    Oh wow, this sounds amazing! Perfect for chilly evenings 🙂

  8. October 7, 2015 / 1:55 am

    I am not a fan of lamb but my husband would love this!

  9. October 7, 2015 / 5:13 am

    That looks so yummy, and a good bowl of cawl is definitely perfect for the weather we’ve been having this week!

  10. Anna Lysik
    October 7, 2015 / 8:29 am

    Aww thats sound amazing! I need to cook tonight! 🙂 goo luck in awards!

  11. October 7, 2015 / 5:06 pm

    I’ve seen it on Facebook, it sounds like a perfect recipe this time of the year.
    I would welcome a bowl of it right about now.

    • October 7, 2015 / 11:41 pm

      It tastes delicious; tastes even better the next day! I’m surprised I had any left over to eat the next day!

  12. October 7, 2015 / 9:44 pm

    Mmmm I love cawl – one of the best things about living in Wales! Yours looks so yummy. Kaz x

    • October 7, 2015 / 11:40 pm

      Definitely. I love Welsh food <3 Thanks xx

  13. October 7, 2015 / 11:13 pm

    Nothing better than a steaming bowl of cawl and fresh homemade bread in the colder weather 🙂

    • October 7, 2015 / 11:39 pm

      Tell me about it 🙂 It’s the perfect thing to have to eat.

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